Fault in tort law: Moral justification and mathematical explication

Богдан Петрович Карнаух

Abstract


The article has two main objectives: (1) to reveal why the fault principle is considered to be morally superior to no-fault liability in primitive law; and (2) to find out the essence of fault in modern tort law and then to express the concept of fault in the most precise manner possible, namely through math formula. It is argued that the very existence of law is contingent on freedom of human’s will. It is the human’s freedom that allows to judge human’s actions. Thus, provided that we consider tort law as a set of rules prohibiting infliction of damage and establishing liability therefor, it is fair to state that fault is a precondition of tort liability specifically because freedom is a precondition of the very law’s operation. Therefore, while establishing fault the court investigates whether the tortfeasor was free at the moment of infliction of damage. Fault denotes that formally wrongful act was committed freely. Since establishing fault is conducted after the wrongful act has been committed (it is conducted within judicial proceedings, which constitute backward-looking research), the inference follows that fault is an ex post conclusion of freedom. However, sometimes all the elements of the free-choice situation being present, the tortfeasor nevertheless cannot be deemed to be at fault. This is the case, where the tortfeasor could have avoided inflicting damage, but at excessively heavy cost. Thus, it is not enough if among the available alternatives there is one harmless; in addition, the harmless option has to be reasonable. Otherwise choosing this harmless option cannot be expected.


Keywords


tort; fault; fault-based liability; negligence; strict liability

Full Text:

PDF

References


Coleman, J., Hershovitz, S., Mendlow, G. (2015). Theories of the Common Law of Torts, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL: https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2015/entries/tort-theories/.

Tunc, A. (Chief ed.) (1983). International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law. Vol. 11: Torts. Brill: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Jhering R. von (1875). The Spirit Of Roman Law At The Various Stages Of Its Development. Saint-Petersburg, Russian Empire: Bezobrazov’s & Co. Printshop [in Russian].

Kelsen, H. (1967). Pure Theory of Law.Berkeley andLos Angeles:University ofCalifornia Press.

Hegel, G. W. F. (1971). Philosophical Propaedeutic. In Hegel, G. W. F. Works of various years. Vol. 2 (pp. 7–209). Moskow, U.S.S.R.: Mysl’. [in Russian].

Riesenhuber, K. (2008). Damages for Non-Performance and the Fault Principle. European Review of Contract Law, 4, 119153.

Schäfer, H.-B., Schönenberger A. (2000). Strict Liability versus Negligence. In Bouckaert, B. & De Geest, G. (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Law and Economics, Volume II. Civil Law and Economics. (pp. 597–624).Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Decision of Supreme Economic Court of Ukraine 14 Oct. 2010, case No. 16/100. URL: http://www.reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/11786192.

Recommendations of the Presidium of the Supreme Economic Court of Ukraine No. 04-5/239, 29 Dec 2007. URL: http://zakon1.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/va239600-07.


GOST Style Citations


  1. Coleman, J., Hershovitz, S., Mendlow, G. Theories of the Common Law of Torts. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2015 (Winter), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL: https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2015/entries/tort-theories/.
  2. Tunc A. The Proper Place of Fault in a Modern Law of Tort. International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law. Vol. 11: Torts. Brill: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1983. рр. 63–86.
  3. Іеринг Р. фон. Дух римскаго права на различных ступенях его развитія. Санкт-Петербург: Типографія В. Безобразова и Комп., 1875. 309 с.
  4. Kelsen, H. Pure Theory of Law.BerkeleyandLos Angeles:UniversityofCaliforniaPress, 1967. 356 с.
  5. Гегель Г.В.Ф. Философская пропедевтика : пер. с нем. Работы разных лет: в 2 т. [сост., общ. ред. А.В. Гулыги]. Москва: Мысль, 1971. Т.2. С. 7–209.
  6. Riesenhuber, K. Damages for Non-Performance and the Fault Principle. European Review of Contract Law. 2008,4. C. 119–153.
  7. Schäfer, H.-B., Schönenberger A. Strict Liability versus Negligence. Encyclopedia of law and economics. Volume II. Civil Law and Economics. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2000. С. 597–624.
  8. Постанова Вищого господарського суду від 14 жовтня 2010 р. у справі № 16/100. URL: http://www.reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/11786192.
  9. Рекомендації Президії Вищого господарського суду № 04-5/239 від 29.12.2007. URL: http://zakon1.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/va239600-07.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.21564/2414-990x.141.126813

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2018 Богдан Петрович Карнаух

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ISSN 2224-9281